Jinja – The High Court in Jinja on Monday, June 1, dismissed with costs an application filed by Jinja RDC Erick Sakwa seeking judicial review of his interdiction.
In an electronic ruling, Judge Jeanne Rwakakooko ruled that Sakwa though appointed by the President in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, is a Public Officer and bound by the Public Service Standing Orders.
Sakwa ran to the High Court in Jinja challenging his dismissal from office after he was charged with three counts of manslaughter, theft, and malicious damage.
In his application where the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga and the Secretary to the Office of the President, Hajji Yunus Kakande are the respondents 1 and 2 respectively, Sakwa is prayed for cancellation of his interdiction from office issued by 2nd respondent.
In the affidavit, Sakwa said he is a political appointee and not a civil servant to whom the public service standing orders, which the 2nd Respondent quotes in his interdiction letter, apply.
He said the manner in which he was interdicted contradicts the rules of natural justice because he was never heard prior to it.
“I am inclined to agree with Counsel for the Respondents that by virtue of Regulation 38 of the Public Service Commission Regulations, SI No. 1 of 2009, the 2nd Respondent, being the “Responsible Officer” in the President’s Office, had the legal capacity to interdict the Applicant who is a “Public Officer”, stopping him from exercising his powers and performing the functions of the office of the Resident District Commissioner, JInja, until the Applicant is cleared of the charge of manslaughter against him,” the judge ruled.
Sakwa in his application contended that Kakande, as Secretary in the Office of the President can only interdict him on the directive of the President who appointed and made him RDC Jinja.
“Further, in the Public Service Standing Orders, 2010, it clearly defines interdiction as “the temporary removal of a public officer from exercising the duties of his or her office while investigations over particular misconduct are being carried out.”
These Public Service Standing Orders also show that it is not irrational to get a public officer temporarily removed from exercising his or her duties pending investigations,” the judge ruled.
The embattled former UPC diehard continued with his work after receiving the interdiction letter, one day found his office locked and has been operating controversially at the District Headquarters.
President Museveni last month directed Sakwa to immediately vacate office and only return when the allegations against him are fully investigated and dispose of. The President said allegations for which his representative in Jinja is being accused of are very grave and he cannot continue holding office in the circumstances.
The Jinja District Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Eric Sakwa was in interdicted by the secretary in the office of the president, Hajji Yunus Kakande as a result of the criminal charges he is facing in court.
The outspoken RDC has on Friday, April 24 been arrested and charged in courts of law and remanded to Kirinya for alleged manslaughter of the late Charles Isanga of Lwanda in Mafubira sub-county Jinja district.